Thought for the day – Monday

Reading

Luke 21:1-4

 

Reflection

How do we measure value? Is it by the amount of money people earn or by the high positions they have attained?

Jesus has just been talking about the scribes who he observes measure their own value by the status they are accorded. They stroll about in long robes, demanding respect and seeking public acclaim. They take the best seats in the synagogues and at banquets. Yet all of this masks their exploitation of the poor, particularly widows, who in a male dominated society were often given little value and left without support.

As Jesus observes the rich people putting their gifts into the treasury, he also notices a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. This may not seem a great amount. But God’s measure is different. God measures the love and motive of the human heart. In contrast to the wealthy giving out of their abundance, this widow is giving all that she has. By using the example of this widow Jesus is indeed continuing his denunciation of those scribes, who instead of caring for the weaker members of society, including this poor widow, as the law directed them to do, are in fact robbing her of all that she has to live on.

We are challenged to examine our own life-style as to whether or not there are contradictions in our lives between the faith we profess and the way that we live.

What do we offer to God? Do we give out of our abundance only that which is left over or do we, like the widow, give God our all?

Mother Theresa, who some would say gave everything she had to God, told a story about a street beggar who approached her at the end of one day wanting to give her thirty cents to help with her work. It was all that he had received that day. She knew that if she took it then he would not have anything to eat that night but she related how she had never seen such joy in the face of a beggar at the thought that he could give something to help with her work. Mother Theresa went on to say, “It was a big sacrifice for that poor man. It was beautiful. Thirty cents is such a small amount, and I can get nothing with it, but as he gave it up and I took it, it became like thousands because it was given with such love. God looks, not at the greatness of the work, but at the love with which it is performed.”

What is our response to this gospel story? How much love do we have for God and for our neighbour?

God loves and values each one of us so much that he will lay down his life for us. How much do we offer in return? What is the attitude of our heart?

Prayer

Lord, take as your right, and receive as my gift,
all my freedom, my memory,
my understanding and my will.
Whatever I am and whatever I possess,
you have given to me;
I restore it all to you again,
to be at your disposal,
according to your will.
Give me only a love for you,
and the gift of your grace;
then I am rich enough,
and ask for nothing more.

St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)